Elmira, N.Y. (WENY) - Members of the Elmira community are rallying around one of their own. 

Former Elmira football standout and current UCONN linebacker Eli Thomas was hospitalized last Wednesday after suffering a major stroke prior to a weightlifting session. UCONN has said that he is in stable condition and progressing toward recovery. Now, a group of Eli's friends and family in the Elmira area have formed a community group named "Friends of Eli". The group has been formed in search of donations to help with Eli's mounting medical expenses during his rehabilitation. 

Friends of Eli is planning a spaghetti dinner from noon to 4:00 PM on November 11th at the Elmira Elks Lodge to raise additional money for Eli. Tickets will be $10 each, and can be purchased at the door or in advance at Ziff Law Firm. Any additional donations can be delivered to Ziff Law Firm, or the YWCA. 

Here are the details that were provided  to WENY from Friends of Eli: 

Eli Thomas is no stranger to adversity.

The former Elmira High School football standout, now a junior linebacker with the University of Connecticut, has had three major knee surgeries during his college football career, but has showed great resilience in working his way back to being healthy after each surgery.

Eli was a starting linebacker and defensive end for the Huskies when he suffered a major stroke on Oct.10, and the 22-year-old fighter is once again facing a difficult and challenging road to recovery. As his mother, Mary Beth Turner, said recently, “Eli will fight back as he has with every challenge that has come his way – with ‘Eli Style.’”

Friends of Eli, a new community group comprised of friends of Eli and his family in the Elmira area, is writing to you at this time because we are seeking donations to help Eli with mounting medical expenses related to his rehabilitation.

We are planning a spaghetti dinner from noon to 4 p.m. on Nov. 11 at the Elmira Elks Lodge, 300 E. Gray St., to raise additional money for Eli. The dinner will include basket raffles, 50/50 drawings, and door prizes. Tickets will be $10 each and can be purchased at the door or in advance at Ziff Law Firm.

Any donations can be delivered to Ziff Law Firm, c/o Terri Ziegler 303 William Street, Elmira, NY 14901 or YWCA c/o A’Don Allen, 211 Lake Street, Elmira, NY 14901.